Withdrawal: not letting the sperm get near the egg

Withdrawal: your top questions answered!

When withdrawing, a man pulls his penis out of a woman’s vagina before he ejaculates – so that there’s no semen going into the vagina.

It’s also known as the ‘pull-out method’ or ‘coitus interrupts.’ You may also have heard other names for it.


Readily available, stop at any time, and easily reversible, no health care provider needed, no prescriptions, and no side effects. Free.


It among the least effective at preventing pregnancy. Couples practicing the withdrawal method have the highest rates of unplanned pregnancy (see success rates).

  • No protection against STDs
  • Very tricky in practice – requires men to be aware of when to pull out
  • Is not for men who don’t know when to pull out
  • Is not recommended for men who are sexually inexperienced
  • Is not recommended for men who ejaculate prematurely

How does withdrawal prevent pregnancy?

Withdrawal prevents pregnancy by keeping sperm out of the vagina.

How often do I have to use the withdrawal method to prevent pregnancy?

For it to prevent pregnancy, you and your partner need to practice it every time you have sexual intercourse.

How effective is withdrawal against preventing pregnancy?

  • Based on typical withdrawal use, 27 out of 100 women become pregnant when using the withdrawal method with their partner. Typical use means couples who don’t always use the withdrawal method correctly, whereby sperm enters the vagina.
  • Based on perfect withdrawal use, where couples always withdraw correctly, 4 out of every 100 women will become pregnant.
    couples can make the withdrawal method more effective when men (and, possibly, their female partners) know exactly when they are reaching the point of sexual excitement when they can’t control, stop, or postpone ejaculation
  • Also, the fluid that leaves a man’s penis before ejaculation, also known as pre-ejaculate or pre-cum, has been known to cause pregnancy. Some experts believe this happens because pre-ejaculate can pick up sperm left in a man’s urethra from previous ejaculations.
    So in order to improve the effectiveness of the withdrawal method, these experts advise you to urinate after you ejaculate.

All in all, the withdrawal method isn’t very reliable, so if getting pregnant is the worst thing in the world, this is not an ok option for you.

What can I do if sperm does enter my vagina?

If this happens to you, consider taking emergency contraception.

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy up to five days after having unprotected sex. The sooner you take it, the better it will work.

How safe is withdrawal?

There are no side effects from withdrawal, so anyone can use this as a birth control method.

Do I need a prescription?



Nothing. It’s free!

Is it easily available?


The only factor involved with using the withdrawal method is that both you and your partner must agree on practicing it within your relationship.


If there are no other birth control methods available, the withdrawal method is better than not using contraception at all.


The withdrawal method doesn’t protect against any STDs. You’ve got to pull out each time you have sexual intercourse.

Some couples find that the withdrawal method increases anxiety and sexual frustration, which dampens their sexual pleasure.

If you’re a woman, your male partner must always be willing and able to pull out. As well, he needs to know when he’s going to ejaculate, which can be difficult if there is alcohol or drugs involved.

In general, the withdrawal method is very tricky. It requires that the man be aware of when to pull out. This requires lots of practice, so it’s not recommended for teenagers or men who are sexually inexperienced. Also, it’s not for men who ejaculate prematurely.

If you’ve read the effectiveness section, you’ll also be aware that even if you’re sexually experienced, don’t ejaculate prematurely, and know when you’re going to ejaculate, you can still get someone pregnant. So if you don’t want to have children now, use another birth control method.

Protection against STDs?


The withdrawal method offers no protection against STDs. Use a male or female condom to reduce the risk of STDs.

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Recent Comments (25)

  1. Everything that’s written up…
    Everything that’s written up is correct but coitus interruptus needs couples that are really faithfull to each other because no protection is involved in here . but its good if both partners agree on it and can be successful

    1. Thank you Hamran, we…
      Thank you Hamran, we appreciate your contribution.

    2. I use it en its nice,bt wid…
      I use it en its nice,bt wid my hus,

      1. Thank you for sharing Kahosh.
        Thank you for sharing Kahosh.

  2. That method is the best but…
    That method is the best but recquires stability

    1. Thank you Andrew for your…

      Thank you Andrew for your input. Keep reading. 

  3. Eeeh banange this method is…
    Eeeh banange this method is hight risk it can fail because of the emotions of the moment… If not ready don’t try.

  4. What about that that fluid…
    What about that that fluid that comes out before you ejaculate does it have sperm?

    1. Hey Joel, there is a small…

      Hey Joel, there is a small chance that one could get pregnant from this liquid know as pre-cum or pre-ejaculate. If partners do not wish to get pregnant, they should then use a condom anytime they are having intercourse. Condom can help prevent unplanned pregnancies. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/condom

  5. Thanks so much for your…
    Thanks so much for your advice

    1. You are welcome Samuel.

      You are welcome Samuel.

  6. wat are the dangers of…
    wat are the dangers of licking a vagina

  7. What is the difference…
    What is the difference between premature ejaculation and matured ejaculation??

  8. What happens when one takes…
    What happens when one takes the pills when safe

    1. Hi Louis it is unclear…

      Hi Louis it is unclear whether you mean the emergency pill or the everyday pill. The emergency pill works by flooding your body with a kind of hormone that makes the womb inhospitable to the implantation of the fertilised ovum. If it is the person’s safe days or if the pill is taken when no fertilization occurs, there are no known adverse effects it will just be processsed out of the body as usual.

      The everydy pill also works by regulating hormonal levels in the female body to ensure that pregnancy occurs.  If it is the person’s safe days or if the pill is taken when no fertilization occurs, there are no known adverse effects it will just be processsed out of the body as usual.

  9. So how can an inexperienced…
    So how can an inexperienced person in sex go about this?

  10. Hello Peterson, thank you…

    Hello Peterson, thank you for getting in touch and asking a great question. The best practice one should practice when wanting to avoid unwanted pregnancies is to use some form of contraception or birth control and family planning such as wearing a condom before having sex. 

  11. Thanks alot the message is…
    Thanks alot the message is so help for us young ladies

  12. Hi Cindy, we are so glad…

    Hi Cindy, we are so glad that our platform is able to help you make more informed decisions and helps you learn more. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information and go through our site to learn more about love, sex and relationships. Please have a wonderful week ahead and stay safe!

  13. Wonderful, atleast I have…
    Wonderful, atleast I have learned something

  14. We are glad you like it…

    We are glad you like it Ramsey! Please feel free to go through more of our content and let us know what you think and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out! Have a wonderful week ahead and stay safe!

  15. You’re welcome, Tabby!

    You’re welcome, Tabby!

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